Chris Best isn’t going to stop fighting.
The 10 year CFL veteran spent the better part of 2016 season in recovery from surgery for a double sports hernia, and then just as he was poised to come back, he was injured again.
“I was weeks away from being out there,” Best said earlier this week as the Roughriders emptied out their lockers.
“I tried and fought as long as I could to get back out there, I just couldn’t overcome so now my focus is getting the surgery, getting healthy and getting ready for next year.”
While Best declined to say what kind of surgery he needed in the offseason, he didn’t hold back when he was asked about how frustrating it was to watch the team lose while he wasn’t able to contribute.
“That hurts, obviously, because me and Blue (Brendon LaBatte) have been part of some great o-lines over the years and we had a lot of fun and a lot of success running the ball and keeping our quarterback upright,” Best said.
As for who that quarterback may be, that’s still in question. Last week, Darian Durant said his contract talks with the team were at a standstill after he and his agent presented, what he said, was a reasonable offer.
Head coach Chris Jones didn’t characterize it quite the same way, saying he hoped the lines of communication would remain open and that he’s very eager to resign him.
“Darian’s my boy, that’s my quarterback right there,” Best said. “I understand it’s a business but I hope he gets everything he wants and I hope he comes back here because I love blocking for him.”
But even with the quarterback situation uncertain, Best is working hard to get back on the field and be able to contribute to the 2017 season. He’s looking forward to getting into the new stadium and to work with the “good core” of players that were with the team.
“We showed a lot of promise and I’m excited about that,” he said.
And believe it or not, he’s also excited for the rehab, saying it will be a good challenge for him and he’s committed to succeed.
“Once you’re over 30, you have to count every season as your last,” Best admitted. “It’s my job to make that not happen. It’s my job to work hard and to rehab and to be ready and put myself in the position to contribute at a very high level in 2017.”